New Initiative Announced to Support the Mental Health of Black Canadians

News release

Funding for culturally relevant mental health programs for Black Canadian communities

September 25, 2018 Ottawa, ON Public Health Agency of Canada

Standing up for diversity – a cornerstone of Canadian identity – and building communities where everyone feels included are crucial to our success as a country. Black communities in Canada often face unique challenges and systemic barriers that can negatively impact the mental and physical health of the people in these communities, especially youth. 

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced the launch of a new funding initiative to help strengthen mental health supports for Black youth, their families, and their communities. 

The Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians initiative aims to foster culturally informed approaches to improving mental health for Black communities. The initiative will focus on addressing key underlying factors such as anti-Black racism, promoting cultural diversity and well-being, and taking into account other significant challenges in order to support culturally appropriate, effective and accessible mental health programs. Black Canadian community groups, organizations and researchers, as well as other stakeholders partnering with them, are invited to submit applications for project funding.


“I am pleased to announce this new investment, which will support projects to improve mental health and well-being among Black Canadians, especially young people. By building on community supports for youth and strengthening our knowledge of the significant and unique challenges faced by Black Canadians, we can inform mental health programs and begin to address barriers.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Minister of Health

“Systemic challenges and barriers, such as racism and discrimination, can have significant negative health impacts, including on mental health. Supporting culturally informed mental health programs that meet the needs of Black Canadians will contribute to improved mental health and well-being.”

Dr. Theresa Tam

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer

Quick facts

  • Budget 2018 announced $19 million over five years to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Canadian Heritage to address the significant and unique challenges faced by Black Canadians. PHAC will administer $10 million of this investment. 

  • PHAC’s investment seeks to improve understanding of mental health for Black Canadian youth, their families and communities in order to strengthen culturally informed policies, programs, and interventions. 

  • The types of community-led projects eligible for funding include those that aim to strengthen or adapt mental health supports and services to meet the needs of Black Canadian communities, or to develop new interventions to promote positive mental health and increase access to opportunities and conditions conducive to health for all. 

Associated links


Thierry Bélair

Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Minister of Health


Media Relations

Public Health Agency of Canada


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